Aloha. Greetings from Northern California where I’m about to open my own juice hub.
I’m curious if anyone has been successful by simply serving cold-pressed juice as their only revenue item. I am planning to have smoothies, salads, etc., but to begin simply, perhaps the juice will profit and sustain the business at first.
Welcome to the community
Are you opening a retail store in the beginning?
That’s how I’m starting; with a small core offering of juices to get me up and ticking along. I plan to add smoothies and seasonal offerings as I go, then maybe shots and who knows?
I think it’s better to offer more, right from the beginning. Most juice bars make more revenue from non-juice items than they do from juice. Since you will have the high overhead cost of a retail space, you really need people coming in that mat not just be looking for juice.
Maybe you could start with a core menu of juices, smoothies, and bowls and go from there?
Well my location is not classic retail; it’s the kitchen in a shared artists studio, so my overhead costs are relatively low. My plan is to start by keeping costs low and focusing on the minimum viable product and grow from there.
Ah gotcha! Yeah that’s definitely doable then. If you don’t have a lease on a retail space there’s much less pressure.
That is how I started my business and operated it for its first 15 months (juice Cleansing, subscriptions, wellness shots). I’ve since expanded into smoothie, smoothie bowls, soups, salads, vegan baked goods. My customers love the variety and having more choices on my menu really helped grow by business.
Retail, yes. I have been serving the juice at the local farmers market and events here and there until the kitchen is finished.
Your experience and knowledge is appreciated. Thanks for the advice, everyone!
Hi! We only serve juice and it works well for us. Here is how:
- Low labor. There are only two of us that work that the shop. Since we do not have smoothies, salads, etc it only takes 1 person to serve and 1 person to make juice. Fewer items to prep, serve and educate on.
- Purposeful. We focus on juice therefor sell a lot of juice. Each customer gets 1 on 1 time with me (salesperson) I am able to sell them a 6 pack rather than them choosing 1 juice on their own. Personalize experience brings them coming back too. Whatever you put your marketing affords towards is what you will sell - we choose juice.
- Farmers Markets. Go to events where people are already in “money spending mode”. Is it hard to convince someone to visit the shop. It is easy to get people to buy juice at a heavily populated area where they are already in spend money mode. This can mean setting up at farmers markets, yoga study, grocery store, corporate office, etc. Low to no rent/lease, fast easy sales. Juice is also a specialty time. For many, it is a treat. Very eye-catching and flashy too (great for these events).
Hello Kate. I see that you have a juice/smoothie cafe in Eastern PA. I am looking at opening that type of thing in Western PA. Would you mind connecting with me to give me some guidance on Pennsylvania regulations and how you got started. I have been researching, but a little overwhelmed and somewhat confused. any help would be appreciated.
Congrats on your new business venture! Sure I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. Each county is a little different, I’m in Montgomery County, but if you go to PA Board of Health (Dept of Health and Human Services) website and search Food Establishment Licensing, you can search for your county/region and pull up Plan Review Applications. If you plan on manufacturing only and don’t plan to open up a cafe, you can go straight to PA Dept of Agriculture website and apply for Manufacturing License $35/year, straight forward license/inspection. That is what I started with before I opened up my store.
Let me know if this helps!
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! Would you mind me being a bit nosey and just getting overall advice? I am still in the pre-planning stages and would love a “mentor” type person already in the business. Did you have any background in this type of thing before you opened? What is the name of your business? Do you have a website? This is sort of a second career for me and am still trying to feel ok with doing it, financially and time commitment. I have had a business before so I understand the commitment, but this is a really new venture for me.
My vision is to do something that sounds just like what you have done. My community is a small town, kind of just blossoming into (hopefully) a more health conscious, progressive atmosphere. I would like to offer raw juices, smoothies, and very limited salad/soup/small breakfast and lunch options. Additionally, I want a retail area for my local people to purchase fresh and local products, herbal teas, fermented foods and beverages, anything along those lines.
Are there any pointers you have? Do you own or rent your space? What kind of area are you in? Do you have employees or operate yourself?
I will definitely follow you advice to look at my county info on health dept site. I have been perusing the FDA and HCAAP standards, but boy does it get confusing on their site. Did you deal with that?
Thank you again, look forward to hearing from you.
Sure!! Are you on FB or IG, or do you have a phone that allows voice text? I love using the voice recording feature on those platforms, it’s easiest to answer questions (and express warm emotions too!). I use it with my customers and vendors a lot. Our visions sound similar and it’s all very overwhelming at first, but your passion will fuel you and it all really does come together nicely. Like any restaurant/food service business it’s demanding and requires a lot of time, but I chose a location 2 miles from home so I can go back and forth easily to my hubby and kids. Today I’m on shift until 7pm, but I’ll check back for your contact details and will be happy to answer any questions you have!!
My contact info is:
Cell: [Removed by mod for privacy / internet safety. Please send personal details via direct message instead.]
(website is just an online ordering platform, but it will give you a brief idea of what I sell in store. My new website is launching next week)